Regardless of faith, I think we can all find a bit of meaning in the Serenity Prayer right about now. If you are not familiar with it, it reads:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
match me cube

In the face of the COVID-19 health crisis, every day is about learning new ways to accept the things we cannot change and the courage to change the things we can. At this time, we can’t celebrate birthdays and other milestones with our families or stop by a friend’s house to chat over a cup of coffee. We aren’t going out to eat at our favorite restaurants or cheering on our beloved sports teams. The Olympics are postponed and theaters are closed. And, for the love of all that’s holy, there’s no toilet paper anywhere! So, what now?

Accept the things we cannot change; change the things we can.

As a society, we are finding courage to change the things we can. Many of us are working from home and kids all over the world are attending school remotely. Friends are getting together via Zoom or Google Hangout for virtual dinner gatherings, and communities are coming together to sew face masks for healthcare workers. We are, indeed, changing the things we can.
What else can we do?

  • Stay home. Practice social distancing protocols for the sake of your own health and the health of those around you. Be wise. Remember that those who are immunocompromised are more at-risk. By staying home, you are saving lives.
  • At the same time, try to stay connected. We can’t get together in person, but we can reach out via telephone, text, email, or online chats. Check in with each other regularly. We are in this together. If you or a loved one is fighting cancer, call us. The Cancer Hope Network Programs Team is working remotely, and we are here for you. We can be reached at 877.467.3638 (877-HOPENET).
  • Remember to eat well and to move your body. Take your vitamins and get lots of fresh air. Mind your nutritional needs, and don’t let social distancing become an excuse for poor choices. It’s easy to skip meals or to mindlessly binge on junk food when we are home all day. But, it’s more imperative than ever that we give our bodies their best fighting chance of staying strong and healthy by eating balanced meals.

eHOPE Beth BlakeyIn that spirit, I’d like to invite our Cancer Hope Network community to join me in supporting each other by sharing your favorite recipes and other tips for staying healthy while practicing social distancing. My tip for staying healthy… get outside for at least 15 minutes every single day. It’s good for the body, mind, and soul. During this crisis, I’ve made it a point to go out for a walk no matter what the weather. I’d also like to share this link to one of my favorite recipes: Lightened Up Lasagna Soup

I stumbled on this recipe a few years ago and I’ve made it dozens of times. It is delicious! You can kick up the health benefits by adding your favorite vegetables to the base recipe. I like to throw in a few handfuls of spinach. You can also omit the turkey sausage to make it vegetarian-friendly. This recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy lasagna without overdoing it on saturated fats and carbs.

Remember to opt for low sodium versions of the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and broth. All three of these items can be very high in sodium. I prefer Hunts No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce, as well as Pacific Free Range Low Sodium Chicken Broth. To give you an idea on how significant the difference is in sodium content on these three ingredients, please note:

  • Hunts Diced Tomatoes = 200 mg of sodium per 1/2 cup serving vs. Hunts No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes = 15 mg per 1/2 cup serving.
  • Hunts Tomato Sauce = 410 mg per 1/4 cup serving vs. Hunts No Salt Added Tomato Sauce = 20 mg per 1/4 cup serving.
  • Pacific Organic Free Range Chicken Broth = 570 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving vs. Pacific Organic Free Range Low Sodium Chicken Broth = 70 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving.

By opting for the lower sodium versions of these three ingredients, you decrease the overall sodium content per serving on this recipe by 1,170 mg. That’s a pretty big difference.
What’s your favorite recipe, and how are you staying healthy?